|WBB Preview: Northern Kentucky|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW women's basketball team concludes its three-game road swing Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest versus Northern Kentucky.
►Thursday's game marks the first meeting between UNCW and Northern Kentucky. The Seahawks have compiled an all-time mark of 3-2 against current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference and are playing their first game against an A-Sun opponent since the 2002-03 season.
►UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris will coach her 100th collegiate game on Thursday. Just eight games into her Seahawk coaching career, Harris spent three seasons (2009-12) at Tusculum College (Tenn.) prior to taking over the UNCW program last May. She has amassed a career record of 62-37 (.626) heading into tonight's contest.
►Thursday's game will feature a reunion of sorts as former Tusculum College (Tenn.) teammates Chelsea McGowen (UNCW) and Ellen Holton (NKU) will meet on the floor for the first time since helping current UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris and the Pioneers advance to the Elite Eight of the 2009-10 NCAA Division II Tournament.
►The UNCW women's basketball program is in its 40th season of competition and has compiled an all-time record of 458-568 (.446). The Seahawks have recorded four 20-wins seasons (1983-84, 2002-03, 2010-11, 2011-12) and made two postseason appearances (WNIT: 2011 & 2012) in that span.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett will look to continue her solid play on the glass during the early part of the season as she enters Tuesday's contest leading the CAA and ranking 14th in the nation in rebounds per game (11.8). Garrett has grabbed double-digit rebounds in five of eight games this season, highlighted by a pair of 18-rebound performances at Wake Forest (Nov. 14) and against North Carolina Central (Nov. 28).
►Sophomore transfer Kelva Atkins leads the Seahawks in both scoring (11.4) and assists (2.4). Atkins, who ranks sixth in the CAA in field goal percentage (.476), has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, including a season-high 20 points in UNCW's matchup with Charlotte on Dec. 5.
►The Seahawks are in the midst of a challenging non-conference slate in as seven of their 11 non-league opponents in 2012-13 qualified for postseason competition last season, including NCAA Tournament participants Liberty, Northern Kentucky and West Virginia. In addition, nine of those teams won 15 or more contests, with six of those teams - Liberty, Northern Kentucky, Richmond, Tulane, Wake Forest and West Virginia - all reaching the 20-win milestone.
UNCW moved to 1-7 on the season with a 62-52 loss at Xavier on Tuesday.
►The Musketeers took advantage of 26 second-chance points and a 53-34 rebounding advantage to record the 10-point victory over the Seahawks.
►Both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor as UNCW was 22-of-61 (.361) while Xavier finished 23-of-67 (.343).
►Both teams committed fewer than 10 turnovers as UNCW was charged with a season-low eight turnovers while Xavier committed just nine miscues.
►UNCW recorded double-figure assists for the fourth time this season as it dished out 11 assists.
►Xavier finished the game with 19 offensive rebounds. 16 of the Musketeers 32 points came in the second half came off second-chance opportunities.
►The Musketeers posted a 36-24 advantage in points in the paint, highlighted by an 18-8 edge in the second half.
►UNCW notched a season-high eight blocked shots, breaking previous season high of five set against Liberty on Dec. 8.
►The 16 points scored by the Seahawks in the first half represented a season low in that category, breaking the old mark of 21, set against West Virginia on Nov. 9.
►The Seahawks five free throws made matched the season low for the Seahawks in that category while UNCW's eight free throw attempts were a season low.
►The 53 rebounds by Xavier represented a season high for rebounds by a UNCW opponent. The previous season high was 50, established by Liberty on Dec. 8.
►Freshman Dana Brown paced the Seahawks with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half.
►Sophomore Kelva Atkins reached double figures in points for the fourth time in five games, chipping in 10 points.
►Senior Karneshia Garrett grabbed double-figure rebounds for the fifth time this season as she finished with 12 boards. She also posted a career-high four blocked shots.
Scouting Northern Kentucky
►In its first season of competition at the Division I level, Northern Kentucky is off to a 2-6 start to the 2012-13 season following a 66-56 home setback to Butler on Sunday.
►The Norse has excelled in The Bank of Kentucky Center, compiling a 53-8 mark in four-plus seasons in the 9,400-seat facility, including a 1-1 mark this season.
►Senior forward Tiara Hopper serves as the focal point of the NKU lineup, pacing the squad in both scoring (10.8) and rebounding (7.0).
►Junior Kayla Thacker (10.8) and freshman Christine Roush (10.4) have given the Norse three double-figure scorers in the early going.
►Senior Jaimie Hamlet and freshman Rianna Gayheart have dished out 20 assists apiece to highlight a balanced NKU lineup that already has seen six players reach the double-figure assists total this season.
►The Norse is coached by Dawn Plitzuweit, who is in her first season with the program. Plitzuweit took over the reins of the NKU program in May after five seasons as the associate head coach at Michigan.
Series Notes Versus Northern Kentucky
Thursday's contest marks the first meeting between UNCW and Northern Kentucky.
According to research conducted by the athletic communications department at St. John's University, UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris is one of the youngest Division I head coaches in the country.
►Harris is the 10th youngest head coach in the nation based on birth date, having celebrated her 32nd birthday on May 1, just two days before accepting the head coaching position at UNCW.
►Harris is the youngest coach in the CAA, but not the youngest in the state of North Carolina. That honor goes to High Point Head Coach DeUnna Hendrix. The 28-year-old is in her first season as head coach of the Panthers.
The Seahawks are 53-0 since the start of the 2002-03 campaign when limiting the opposition to 50 points or less.
►UNCW held its first opponent to 50 points or less during the Adell Harris era with a 59-45 victory over North Carolina Central on Nov. 28. The win also marked the first time the Seahawks had limited its opposition to fewer than 50 points since a 76-47 victory at Towson on Feb. 24, 2011.
►The last time the Seahawks lost a game in which they held their opponent to less than 50 points was a 49-44 setback at rival Campbell on Nov. 17, 2001.
UNCW is 69-8 (.896) since the start of the 2000-01 campaign when it scores 70 or more points in a contest.
►The Seahawks were 10-1 in 2011-12 and are 23-2 since the start of the 2010-11 season when reaching the 70-point plateau.
►UNCW's last loss when scoring 70 or more points came in a 79-73 setback to Appalachian State in the first round of the Postseason WNIT last March.
Getting Off To a Good Start important for UNCW
The Seahawks are 68-18 (.791) since the start of the 2007-08 season when leading at halftime.
►UNCW is 1-1 this season when holding a halftime advantage. The Seahawks one loss under such circumstances came in a 63-58 setback to Charlotte on Dec. 5, a game in which they led the 49ers, 25-24, at the break.
►On the flip side, the Seahawks are just 20-57 (.260) since 2007-08 when trailing at intermission. UNCW has lost all five games in which it has been behind at halftime this season.
UNCW has benefitted from building big leads in recent years as it is a combined 68-5 (.931) since the start of the 2007-08 season when it holds a lead of 10 points or more during a contest.
►The Seahawks are 1-0 this season under such circumstances. The last time UNCW lost a game in which it led by 10 points or more came in a 63-54 setback to Eastern Michigan in the second round of the Postseason WNIT on March 21, 2011. In that game, the Seahawks lead by as many as 13 before falling by nine to the Eagles.
►The Seahawks have struggled to overcome big deficits in that same timeframe, posting an 11-65 (.145) mark during games in which they have trailed by 10 points or more. Eight of those 11 victories, however, have come since the start of the 2010-11 season.
Freeman, Lee Making Their Way Up school's Three-Point Chart
Senior Tawanna Lee and redshirt junior Jessica Freeman are both making their way up the school's career three-point field goals made chart.
►Freeman currently sits in 11th place on the all-time list with 77 three-pointers made while Lee is 15th with 60 triples converted in her career.
►The duo are just three and 20 three-pointers away from matching Katy Walters for 10th place on the school's career three-point field goals made list (79).
►Both players have been consistent from beyond the arc during their careers as Freeman and Lee are tied for sixth on the squad's chart for career three-point field goal percentage (.341). Freeman led the league in three-point field goal percentage last season (.414), while Lee was second on the squad (.336) in that category.
Harris, McGowen Reunited
When UNCW Head Coach Adell Harris took over the Seahawks program last May, she was already familiar with one player on her new roster from her time at Tusculum College.
►Harris coached current UNCW senior Chelsea McGowen at Tusculum during the 2009-10 season.
►Together the duo combined to lead the Pioneers to a 23-10 overall record, the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.
►McGowen averaged 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds during her freshman season before transferring to Brunswick Community College for the 2011-12 campaign.
Seahawks Tabbed Seventh, Garrett Preseason Honorable Mention
UNCW was picked to finish seventh overall during the upcoming 2012-13 season and senior forward Karneshia Garrett was a Honorable Mention Preseason All-CAA selection.
►The Seahawks and George Mason were selected to finish seventh in a vote of the league's 11 head coaches, ahead of Towson, William & Mary and Georgia State.
►Delaware was picked to repeat as regular-season champion while James Madison was tabbed to finish second. Hofstra was picked third, followed by Drexel, Old Dominion, Northeastern, UNCW and George Mason (tie), Towson and William & Mary (tie) and Georgia State.
►Garrett earned Honorable Mention Preseason All-CAA accolades after appearing in 32 games and making 21 starts during her first season with the program in 2011-12. She averaged 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds while pacing the team with six double-doubles.
The Seahawks will take a 10-day break for the Christmas holiday before returning to action Dec. 30 with a 2 p.m. matinee against former CAA foe Richmond at Trask Coliseum.